Lorna and Graham

Lorna and Graham

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In 2016 we met Lorna and Graham while we were in Laos. This was back when we took a break for 3.5 months and went on our sabbatical.

In a cool café located on the banks of the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, we joined a couple that were sitting at a table and quickly struck up a conversation. We liked each other at first moment and got along very well. Sometimes you just have that with people that you’ve just met but feel like you have known them forever.

We learned that Lorna and Graham lived in New Zealand and enjoy traveling and have been on some incredible holidays. Lorna’s history particularly fascinated me. She was a teacher and had decided to hang up her job to do what she had wanted to do since she was a child.  To be creative, draw, paint and open a tattoo studio! I admired her for following her dreams, and I think she’s very inspiring.

Lorna and Menekse
Lorna and Menekse

The Farewell

After a few hours we left and said our goodbyes. We didn’t know at the time that we were going to run over each other again very soon.

Continuing our journey brought us two unforgettable days on a slow boat on the Mekong. We took the boat back to Thailand because we wanted to experience the Light Festival (Loi Krathong), which was to take place a day later in Chang Mai.

In the evening we were walking along the night market and my gaze fell on a couple. “We know them!” Incredible, but true! Because of our stories about Chiang Mai, Lorna and Graham had spontaneously decided to travel there as well! And we found each other again. What a happy coincidence.

The joy of our reunion was great, and we decided to meet the next evening to watch the spectacle of the light festival together.

After the festival, and as we were again saying our goodbyes, Graham gave me an ankle bracelet with a little elephant, which I hung on my filing cabinet all these years as a lucky charm. When we returned to Germany, Lorna sent us a small drawing that she made which we added to our sabbatical diary.

Since then I have followed the work of Lorna and we wrote to each other every once in a while.

Some of Lorna s products in her studio
Some of Lorna s products in her studio

The Reunion

People like to say come and visit us, but it rarely really happens.

But, after three years, we made it to visit Lorna and Graham in New Zealand! It is indescribable to see such great people again after such a long time.

Graham played tour guide for us and showed us some nice corners from his birth town of Otaki. 

Graham showing us a hut in the mountains
Graham showing us a hut in the mountains
Otaki Forks
Otaki Forks

During the trip we learned that he used to be a firefighter, and, like Lorna, now does creative things. We are absolutely thrilled with all his woodwork, chain pendants and sculptures.

Lorna showed us her tattoo studio and her creative place, where she paints her pictures.

Lorna the Tattooist in her studio
Lorna the Tattooist in her studio

We were also allowed to look at Graham’s man cave, where his works of art are created. Or, how I like to say, where the magic happens.

Graham in his mancave
Graham in his mancave

With paintings by Lorna, and wooden doors and decorations hand made by Graham, the house has a fantastic character. Lu and Kyra, the two sweet dogs, are just the cherry on top.

Graham and Lu
Graham and Lu

There was so much to tell, and our evenings together were so enjoyable that we spontaneously extended our stay for another day. Sorry, Lorna & Graham ?

Beautiful Otaki Beach
Beautiful Otaki Beach
Happy together
Happy together

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